Abbotsford Says No To Homeless Housing
By Jesse Wegenast. Today, Mayor and Council decided that things should stay exactly the same for the homeless in Abbotsford.

They have, after careful consideration, decided that the unfounded and irrational fears of a few individuals ought to trump the City’s responsibility to care for its most vulnerable citizens. The bold decision that not a damn thing should change is indicative of the lack of concern shown time and time again in dealing with the least of these.

The Face Of Abbotsford’s Homeless. Abbotsford citizen Nick Zurowski. Bas Stevens Photo

Of course, not all members of Council are culpable in the tragic outcome of today’s vote. Councilor Loewen gave a very personal and impassioned plea that his colleagues vote in favour of rezoning. Councilor Ross spoke eloquently and with resolve in support of the project, and Councilor Gill voiced his support as well. And, true to form, Councilor Braun’s speech in support was both well articulated and informed as he stared across the aisle at Councilors Smith, Barkman, and MacGregor, all of whom had already spoken out against the proposal.

In the end, though the deciding vote was cast by Mayor Banman. With the absence of Councilor Gibson, who is serving with the provincial government in Victoria, there are only seven voting members of Council. Votes from the Councilors tallied 4 in favour and 3 opposed. However, Mayor Banman cast his vote against the wishes of the majority of the Councilors. By voting in opposition to rezoning, the proposal died on the table, leaving many in the auditorium defeated, dejected, and dismayed.

And so, things remain the same.

Given the extremely public flogging that Abbotsford has rightfully received locally, regionally, and internationally for its treatment of its homeless citizens, one may have thought that this Mayor and Council might jump on the opportunity to change the headline.

But alas, fear has won the day.

Our Mayor and Council have shouted a resounding “No” to provincial government money. The millions of dollars that the Mayor has been asking for from the province to help address issues related to homelessness went the way of the dodo bird with the raising of a hand.

So here we sit. Not a thing has changed regarding the practices of the City towards the homeless since the chicken shit dump.

Big surprise.

Jesse Wegenast

Jesse Wegenast

Jesse Wegenast is a Pastor with The 5 and 2 Ministries, which is devoted to ministering to and helping the homeless in Abbotsford.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Bas Stevens says:

    I understand that there was an attempt by Mission Council to sanction or impeach their Mayor this evening.

    Bruce Banman can do one of several things after his showing this evening: a) walk out of council chambers and place his head into the noose prepared for him; b) resign now ahead of the fall election or c) be impeached.

    Bruce, you have a decision to make for you will never be re-elected in Abbotsford to any public office. See if you can get it right this time!

  • wcmac says:

    With the world watching, Abbotsford becomes a civic disgrace with the snobs showing the heart they have for the less fortunate. Mayor Banman has proven that some people are just not good enough for Abbotsford. Maybe they should rename the city “Abattoir” instead.

Leave a Reply